Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds By David Goggins

Western society has an obsession for mediocrity and complacency even though we have great resources to excel and even though our minds are strong and are built to endure whatever challenges we face.

Succeeding and functioning at your highest potential is all a matter of detaching yourself from that system of belief, gaining self-awareness and conquering the mind.

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#1: Self-limiting beliefs

Inequalities in the system, systemic oppression will always exist but are not the core reason why you are not excelling and functioning at your highest potential.

The truth is you are the one limiting yourself.

That is why you must imperatively identify what is holding you back in life.

To do so, you can:

  • Get a journal and write down your pain, the list of things that are causing you pain.
  • Give shape and name to what is bothering you.
  • Create rituals where you call yourself out, face the hard truth.
  • Set tangible goals for yourself and keep yourself accountable.

By identifying what is limiting you and creating rituals, you will be able to renew your purpose and reinvent yourself.

#2: The path of most resistance

You must understand that in life, there will always be pain. But if you have a purpose, you can overcome that pain and borrow the path of most resistance.

Before starting your mission, you will have to objectively assess your current situation and abolish your ego for it is the cause of all your problems.

On your mission and on the path of most resistance, you might get depressed and discouraged but you have to be convinced that your depression is a sign that you are no longer in your comfort zone.

#3: Taking Souls

In life, you will be confronted with your own demons, bullies who will oppose you for no reason and will face many other challenges.

You have to prepare your mind for eventual opposition and understand that:

  • Challenges reveal your character and your mindset.
  • Pain is finite and you can take on any challenge you want.
  • You must defeat your own demons before you can defeat your opponent.

The Taking Souls strategy is a game that you play with yourself and yourself only by tapping into your own reserve of energy and power. It allows you to easily defeat your opponent and find your inner beast:

  • Know who you are and why you are here and why you are fighting.
  • Find areas in your life that need improvement.
  • Take on tasks that you deem impossible or that make you uncomfortable.
  • List your strengths and weaknesses. Turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
  • List the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent or bully. Bullies are already insecure and unstable so it’s easy to get into their heads.
  • Remember that the easiest way to fight a bully is to help them.

#4: Flipping the script

Every negative experience creates callouses in the mind. When you know how to avoid negative self-talk, to manage your mind and your callouses, then you can choose fight over flight, push through any obstacles and overcome self-doubt.

To build the most stable callous mind there is, to acquire mental toughness and to improve your character, you need to accept your Self, stop running away from your past, face the source of your wounds, fear and insecurities.

For this reason, when you are facing opposition or a negative situation, you have to:

  • Flip the script and stop seeing yourself as the victim of your circumstances.
  • Work the hardest when you want to the least.
  • Seek excellence to outdo your competition.
  • Make your competition admire you and your abilities.

#5: Attaining your goals

Now that you are comfortable with the concept of pain and possess the ability to flip your negative experience, it is time for you to start:

  • Feeding off your pain to overcome challenges and to live the life you want.
  • Painting a picture of what success feels and looks like.
  • Visualizing yourself achieving your goals or overcoming the obstacles standing in your way.
  • Using your past achievements to fuel your news goals.
  • Putting in the work to succeed.

When all is said and done, don’t forget to take the time to celebrate your success.

Review

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is David Goggins‘ raw and uncut autobiography.

In Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, David Goggins aims to help you use your setbacks as fuel for your success, live a bolder life to your fullest potential, master the mind and use it to its maximum capacity.

David Goggins, intense and pragmatic, shares his hardships and successes in his civilian and military lives. Through his story, he encourages people to stop playing the victim and making self-limiting choices.

To make this short, his story is rooted in pain, very dramatic and hard to read. You basically need to brace yourself for the first chapters where David Goggins recalls his childhood.

Throughout his autobiography, we can observe:

  • The evolution of his relationship with pain and suffering. He went from enduring pain, to insulating himself from it, to embracing it, to enjoying it a little bit too much, to diligently seeking it, to understanding that he is immune to suffering and finally using his pain as a pillar for his success.
  • The shift from Victim to Warrior mentality.
  • The catharsis from depicting his life and transferring his knowledge in a book.
  • His willingness to open old wounds and repair the broken pieces of his life.
  • His weight loss, brutal honesty, resilience, confidence and individual growth.

Furthermore, I couldn’t help to wonder about military life and how they recruit their candidates.

On one hand, does the military hire people who don’t know what to do with their lives, who completely lack purpose or are at their wit’s end? Then, the military breaks them down, builds them up into superhumans, gives them a patriotic purpose, and pours into them their way of thinking to get these superhumans to obey them and do whatever they want without asking questions?

On the other hand, according to David Goggins, “Hell Week is designed to show you that a human is capable of much more than you know. It opens your mind to the true possibilities of human potential, and with that comes a change in your mentality.”.

Needless to say, it’s amazing what these soldiers put their mind and body through but still survive. I wonder if they know how much they lose or gain mentally and emotionally doing so? If they are able to function outside of that institution and with that level of trauma?

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds should definitely be called “How to make the best out of the worst”.

While reading this book, you will experience a lot of sadness, twisted experiences, inspirational and funny perspectives on life. Just life!

As much as I had a hard time reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Nobody likes to hear the hard truth. Individually and as a culture, we avoid what we need to hear most. This world is fucked up, there are major problems in our society. We are still dividing ourselves up along racial and cultural lines, and people don’t have the balls to hear it! The truth is racism and bigotry still fucking exist and some people are so thin-skinned they refuse to admit that.

There is no more time to waste. Hours and days evaporate like creeks in the desert. That’s why it’s okay to be cruel to yourself as long as you realize you’re doing it to become better. We all need thicker skin to improve in life.

I looked at the people who were making me feel uncomfortable and realized how uncomfortable they were in their own skin. To make fun of or try to intimidate someone they didn’t even know based on race alone was a clear indication that something was very wrong with them, not me.

Self-improvement takes dedication and self-discipline.

The first step on the journey toward a calloused mind is stepping outside your comfort zone on a regular basis.

Until you experience hardships like abuse and bullying, failures and disappointments, your mind will remain soft and exposed. Life experience, especially negative experiences, help callous the mind.

Ratings 4.5/5

About the author

David Goggins

 

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